MYRTLE BEACH, S.C. (WBTW) — The Grand Strand is urging people who can no longer care for their pets to take to the proper steps when they need to surrender them to the shelter.

Two dogs, Nena and Zeus, were recently abandoned outside the shelter, a trend that officials said has become more common in recent weeks as people are unable to afford veterinary care or cannot keep their pets because of behavioral issues or a lack of pet-friendly housing.

“We understand that these owners may have exhausted what they thought were all of the options,” the shelter said in a post on its Facebook page. “We understand that they knew these beautiful dogs would be safe and so very loved here at GSHS. BUT, we want to stress that this is not a safe way to surrender your animals. We have had dozens of pets abandoned around our facility over the past couple of weeks and more than once, we almost found them too late. “

Officials said animals have been left in unsecured areas that are not monitored around the clock, posing a danger to their health.

“We are here to help, and we promise to do all that we can for you,” the shelter said. “This is a scary time for all of us in animal welfare. This is a scary time for pet owners. If we work with one another, we will get through this together.”

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Anyone who needs help with a pet is asked to call 843-457-3139 or to email grandstrandhumanesociety@gmail.com. You can also visit the shelter’s temporary location at the Tanger outlet mall off Highway 501 next to Carolina Pottery from noon until 6 p.m. daily.